Geography and means of communication
Saint-Quentin is located on a coastal river: the Somme, shortly after birth of this one in Fonsomme. The capital of the High-Picardy is in the middle of the Vermandois.
The city has an interesting geographical position (Threshold of Vermandois): with crossroads between Paris, Amiens, Rheims, Lille and Brussels. This position is consolidated by the presence of two highways, A26 (known as “highway of the English”) going towards Arras and Calais and A29, which connects Saint-Quentin to Amiens and Rouen, and from the rail link Northern Paris - Brussels - Amsterdam, in particular served by TEE (CC40100 accompanied by oar stainless). This line saw passing from the passenger trains bound for Germany, of Poland, of the Soviet Union and the Scandinavian Countries.
The channel of Saint-Quentin, crosses the city and connects Chauny to Cambrai (approximately 93 km). It was one of most important of France until in years 1960/70. It links water of the Scheldt, the Sum and Oise. It has on the section Lesdins - Vendhuile, 2 important undergrounds constuits under the 1st Empire.
The city is equipped with an urban system of bus (6 lines) serving the peripheral center town and districts.
HistoryThe city was rested by the Romans, towards the beginning of our era, to replace the Oppidum of Vermand like capital of the Viromandui: populate Celtic Belgian who occupied the area. It accepted the name of Augusta Viromanduorum , the Augusta of the Viromandui , in the honor of the Auguste emperor. The site corresponds to a Gué which made it possible to cross the Somme. It is devastated at the 3rd century and it is possible that Vermand is become again the local capital (cf its name which comes from Veromandis ).
During the Early middle ages, the important monastery which develops thanks to the pilgrimage on the tomb of Quentin, a come évangéliser the area and martyrized Christian Roman with Augusta , gives rise to a new agglomeration which bears the name of the famous saint.
From the 9th century, Saint-Quentin is the capital of the county of Vermandois. As of the 10th century, the counts de Vermandois (resulting from the Carolingian family, then capétienne) are very powerful. The city develops quickly and obtains a communal charter as of the 11th century.
At the beginning of the 13th century, Saint-Quentin enters the royal field. At that time, it is a flourishing city, because of its textile activity (draping city). It is also a commercial place instigated by its position at the border of the kingdom of France, between the Foires of Champagne and the towns of Flanders (trade of the wine, in particular): it is held an important annual fair to with it. It also profits from its situation in the middle of an agricultural rich person area (trade of the grains and guède).
From the 14th century, Saint-Quentin suffers from this strategic position: it undergoes the Franco-English wars (Guerre One hundred Year old). At the 15th century, it is disputed with king de France by the dukes of Burgundy: it is one of the " cities of Somme". Devastated by the plague on several occasions, its population decreases while its economy is put in difficulty: its fair loses importance, the agricultural production is reduced, etc Its textile industry declining turns to the production of fabrics of flax. In parallel, it must face important expenditure to maintain its fortications and to provide armed quotas.
Between the end of the 15th century and until the middle of the 17th century, this strategic position is source of terrible misfortunes. In 1557, a heroic seat vis-a-vis the Spaniards ends in the plundering of the city and its desertion during two years. Returned to France in 1559, she knows an intense activity of fortification: the medieval enclosure is protected from many strengthened works, altered on several occasions. Two districts are shaven to make them place. In the middle of the 17th century, the city escapes the seats, but undergoes the pangs of the wars which devastate Picardy, accompanied by the plague (that of 1636 carried three thousand inhabitants, out of perhaps ten thousand) and by the famine.
In second half of the 17th century, the conquests of Louis XIV move away it from the border and it loses much of its strategic role. At the end of the 16th century, its textile production specializes in the fine fabrics of flax (lawn and Batiste). It finds its prosperity, in particular at the 18th century, where these fabrics are exported in all Europe and in Americas.
At the 19th century, it continues its development while becoming a prosperous industrial town, thanks to contractors unceasingly with the mounting of the technical innovations. The productions are diversified, but the mechanical engineering and especially the textile carry it: " articles of Saint-Quentin" are then well-known.
Saint-Quentin still undergoes with three recoveries the consequence of its strategic position: in 1814 - 1815, it is occupied by the Russians (without damage). In 1870 - 1871, at the time of the war free-Prussian, the population associated with remains with the routed army pushes back the invader, but the city falls at the time of the second offensive; nevertheless, this desperate but heroic action had a national repercussion.
If these two episodes of the 19th century century do not have affected the city heavily, it is differently of the First World War. The Germans integrate it in the Ligne Hindenburg: after the evacuation of the population, the city is systematically plundered and all the carried or destroyed industrial plant. The terrible combat finish ruining it: 80 % of the buildings (of which the Basilica) are damaged. In spite of the national support, the rebuilding is long and the city pains to find the dynamism former to 1914. The figures of the population are explicit: the level of the 55.000 inhabitants reaches in 1911, is found only in the middle of the years 1950, in the favorable context of the " Thirty Glorious ". The urban development began again, based on the textile and mechanical industrial tradition. This prosperity continues until the middle of the years 1970, period when French textile industry starts to suffer from the competition of the countries in the process of development.
HeraldicMalta-Brown, in illustrated France (1882), brings back two Blasonnement S for the traditional weapons of the town of Saint-Quentin:
1°) “Of azure, with a bust of money Saint-Quentin, accompanied by three flowers of lily by gold, two as a chief and one at a peak. ”
1°) “Of mouths, with a bust of money Saint-Quentin, accompanied by three flowers of lily by gold, two as a chief and one at a peak. ”
AdministrationThe city is chief town of three cantons:
- the Canton of Saint-Quentin-Center is made of part of Saint-Quentin (20 189 inhabitants);
- the Canton of Saint-Quentin-North is made of part of Saint-Quentin and communes of Essigny-the-Small, Fieulaine, Fonsommes, Fountain-Our-Lady, Lesdins, Marcy, Morcourt, Omissy, Remaucourt and Rouvroy (25 830 inhabitants);
- the Canton of Saint-Quentin-South is made of part of Saint-Quentin and communes of Gauchy, Harly, Homblières, Mesnil-Saint-Laurent and Neuville-Saint-Amand (27 887 inhabitants).
1789 : Nicolas Margerin, first mayor of the era " moderne" city.
- 1777: Pierre Alexandre François Margerin (1735-1803). Quentin of the Tower made his portrait.
- Metallurgy related on handling, agro-alimentary (sugar refinery) and constructions of motocyles, engines of boats (MBK/Yamaha);
Saint-Quentin is the seat of the Chamber of commerce and industry of Aisne whose President is Serge Renaud (CCIA). It manages the marina of Saint-Quentin.
Personalities related to the city
Tourist monuments and placesSaint-Quentin is classified town of art and history.
Art déco is strongly represented in the city (important inheritance). Many frontages rebuilt after the 1st world war are true architectural jewels. 3000 frontages were listed and approximately 300 classified (wrought iron, fayences, cement sculptures, of many bow-windows…).
- the Basilica of Saint-Quentin:
End of construction: 15th century
This important duration of construction is worth to him to have known all the styles of the Gothic.
This monument offers to the visitors a unit complexes and fascinating Gothic architecture and constitutes an originality among the cathedrals of Picardy (has 2 transepts). This building is affected with the exercise of the catholic worship. Strongly damaged by the bombardments of 1917, the rebuilding of collegial of Saint-Quentin is started in 1919, under the aegis of the Historic buildings. The stained glasses of the 13th century are positioned back in 1948, thanks to the meticulous work of Maurice Berry, architect as a Chief of the Historic buildings. The missing stained glasses are supplemented by the modern works, carried out by an artist of the second school of Paris: Hector de Pétigny (1904-1992). In 1956, the new basilica can finally be open to the worship. Certain work was given to later: thus it is only in 1983, that the arrow with the top of the croisée." was set up;.
the Town hall: following the example big cities of North, the Town hall of Saint-Quentin, completed in 1509, of Gothic style, with three pinions, is decorated of 173 sculptures and is on a very great closed place. The Town hall of Saint-Quentin is famous for its chime (37 bells). This monument shelters a superb room of the marriages (polychrome ceiling and chimney of the rebirth type). The room of the municipal council realized in 1925 (Art déco) is woodworks and wrought iron.
the municipal theater Jean Vilar, conceived in 1844 according to the plans of Mr Guy, architect in Caen, is of the type to Italian. In 1854, the Matagrin sculptor, cuts the stones of the frontage. In 1921, the ceiling was decorated by the Prévost painter and represents the reappearing City of its ashes, following the destruction of the First World War.
Béguinages: The city has many béguinages whose origins go back to the Middle Ages.
the Fervaques Palate built with the site of the old abbey of Fervaques, was built of 1897 to 1911.
the Door of the gunners, an old building allotted to the gunners and to arquebusiers.
SNCF railway station of style Art déco, was built according to the plans of Gustave Umbdenstock.
- the large post office, street of Lyon, also of style Art Déco.
the monument commemorating the heroic defense of Saint-Quentin by its inhabitants, in 1557 against the army of king d' Espagne Philippe II (Civis murus erat). Sculptor: C. Theunissen.
- Museum of the butterflies: it has a collection which counts more: 600000 specimens, of which: 20000 are in exposure to the museum.
- Museum Antoine Lécuyer: devoted to the work of that which was going to become the virtuoso of the pastel of the 18th century, Maurice-Quentin of the Tower. He shelters works of natures and times varied (drawings, paintings, sculptures, fayences of Sinceny, objets d'art…).
- the Academic Company, located street Villebois-Mareuil, has a remarkable archaeological museum.
Other interesting places
- the beach of the pond of Isle and its mini golf
- the natural reserve of the Marshes of Isle
- the park of Isle Jacques Poacher (House of nature).
- the Champs Elysées (8 hectares) which shelter a bandstand out of wrought iron.
- the old port which shelters the marina in its wet dock
- the cemetery of North (important monument of the war of 1870-71)
- the French military cemetery, road of Amiens
- the German military cemetery, street of the Roman Roadway
- the place Fayette known as place with the frogs (water jets in the frog shape)
- the war memorial (Seat of 1557, war of 1870, 1st and 2nd world wars), located in front of the pond of Isle
- the two headlights of the bridge of Isle (Art déco)
- space St Jacques (old church of same name) street of Saddlery
- the public library Guy of Maupassant, street of the Gunners (50 m of the door of the Gunners)
- the public garden Winston Churchill which shelters curbstone of the old man puit. This one was in service places Town hall, then the curbstone was relegated place of the market, then in the public garden, close to the basilica.
- the temple, street Claude Mairesse.
- old jails royal underground.
- the Beach of Saint-Quentin: Saint-Quentin was the first city in France to transform its center town into true beach (Initiative of Xavier Bertrand, mayor associated with the relaunching): every year, of at the beginning of July mid-August, the place of the Town hall revêt its estival behavior to metamorphose itself in a sand beach end: the Beach of the Town hall.
- the Fair of the Saint Denis (in October)
- the Fair with the roll (Holy District Jean)
- the Festival of the Buffoon (weekend of Pentecost)
- the Annual stock sale (1st Monday of September)
- the flower market
- the market of poetry
- the market of Christmas
- the festival of associations (every two years)
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